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Take an audio tour of the Amazon Jungle! I recorded these critters right on the Amazon River. Click and listen as you read this page. Jump now to the audio index!

How interesting the Internet is. We can ply into the personal life of people who allow it with the mere click of a mouse. Welcome to my personal page.

I was born in 1955, in Port Huron, Michigan, USA, and spent my first few years there living right on Lake Huron. Mom and Dad then moved to Utica (the part now named Sterling Heights), a little town north of Detroit. It wasn't long after that move that they felt called to serve as missionaries in Brazil. That "call" lead them to Arlington, Texas, to study at the Bible Baptist Seminary (now Arlington Baptist College).


Manaus

They graduated in 1963, and we were landing in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil in September of 1966. I was in heaven. For any ten year old that loved exploring, there was no better place than the Amazon Basin (map here).

RealAudio Bite

I was sent to boarding school, just East of Manaus on the Amazon. The school is called, "Puraquequara", which in indian language means, "place of the electric eel". It's a school for missionary kids and is operated by New Tribes Mission of Wakesha, Wisconsin, USA. They teach grade school and high school, and do it well. My sister and her husband are teachers there. They also are dorm parents for the grade school kids.

Just outside their house in the "Little" dorm (for K-4th grade) you could most always hear large groups of parakeets, a solid green bird with some blue and yellow feathers. On this clip you can also hear modern transportation along the Amazon... what we call a "motor launch". This particular boat sounds like it's powered by a mid-sized diesel engine. I grew up around these things.

While at "Puraque", other than studies, we explored deep into the Amazon jungle, went canoeing a lot up into small tributaries nearby, water skied almost everyday of the year, played lots of sports, soccer especially, and made many friends up and down the river.

RealAudio Bite

It wasn't uncommon to hear these guys chirping all night. No, not birds, these are frogs. As you listen to the frogs. You can also hear the "motor launch" leave Puraque for his next port.

Here's a longer version of the frogs, just in case you fell in love with the sound we slept with while growing up on the banks of the Amazon.


Vitoria Regia

Meanwhile, my parents were living in "Paricatuba", on the upper Negro River, across from a village called "Tapurucuara". This is shown on some maps as "Santa Isabel do Rio Negro". Their ministry spans thirty plus years, and I'll let them tell it, but suffice to say it was tough to be away from my parents at that young age. Later I found it was a tremendous help in learning how to cope with problems on my own.

Marcondes and me.

I spent the summers then with my Mom and Dad in Paricatuba. If you thought Puraquequara was an adventure, Paricatuba was a dream. As a young boy, I had my own canoe, a white dog named Marcondes (my parents named him after the butler in their Portuguese language study book), JaguarI had my own two acre island dubbed Kodak Island, (Kodak had an incredible pristine white sandy beach behind it during the low river season), I had buddies up and down the river and also the boats and models to play with... and that was just the river side. In the jungle there were unbelievable trails that lead days back into the center of the Amazon basin. The view out our front door you could see Pico da Neblina (3014 meters and the highest point in Brazil), and Pico 31 de Março (2992 meters), above the carpet of the jungle. (The area around these two mountains is now a National park both in Brazil and across the border in Venezuela.) Close by the house we could see any number of animals, including macaws, green parrots, toucans, monkeys, other four legged creatures... Let me say that it wasn't a hut in the bush. Dad had built a large four bedroom home of wood and clay, typical construction on the river. The roof was palm leaves, about 12 inches thick. We had 70 head of cattle, some 30 chickens. It was a large settlement. Breathtaking sunsets warmed our evenings and jungle sounds lulled us to sleep each night.

Amazon parrot

One of the coolest things about Paricatuba is that I had my own parrot. His name was "Capitãozinho", or "Little Captain". He was an Amazon green parrot and was raised by hand, taken from the nest a few days after he hatched. A girl named Madalena Murilho gave him to me when he was able to feed himself. Even though Little Captain got into everything, we never caged him, never locked him in the house or cut his feathers. He knew he was free to roam wherever and whenever he wanted. Little Captain spoke many words, imitated all of our pets, and was free to fly outdoors where he wanted to. There were many days he would be gone, off flying with other parrots. But soon he would return and fly down to my shoulder and kiss my cheek. Just thinking of how free and incredibly happy he was, for all the years I spent at Paricatuba, brings a littie tear to my eye. I know there isn't a parrot heaven, but if there were, I would hope Littie Captain would be there...flying free.

Amazon river

I left Paricatuba for the last time in 1972. Dad and Mom took me in our speed boat from there to Tapurucuara to catch a DC-3 (Brazilian Air Force shuttle) to Manaus for my senior year at Puraque. I waved goodbye to my friends along the shore not knowing I would never return.

Monkey

After high school, I spent a year working in Manaus as a Program Director for Radio Tropical, the first FM radio station in Latin America, then returned to Michigan. After working there a year I returned to Brazil and married and returned to Michigan with my first wife. Even though we had kids, the marriage didn't work out and ended in 1993. However, during this period we moved to Arlington, Texas, the familiar place my parents now called their home in the USA, and where I finally settled into. My first job in Arlington was at KWJS radio. After a few months, I had my own talk show ("Conversations"), and was soon promoted to Program Director. I enjoyed radio and the media, but unless you are in the top three in your market, the pay is lousy. During this period I had started cultivating an import/export business which became successful. I then left radio. Off and on I worked producing and writing. I wrote and produced many of the programs for "20-The Countdown Magazine", a syndicated top 20 show. It was fun, more than anything. In the late `80's, I made several trips back to Manaus to help a friend in radio programming. While there, I produced three albums of Brazilian folk music including "Forró", "Samba" and "Pagode". In the early `90's I helped the Metropolitana Radio Group in São Paulo, Brazil with equipment and programming. Silvio Sanzone there is one of my good friends to this day. It was in São Paulo that I met my beautiful wife, partner, best friend and lover, Adriana. We had been friends for a few years, but not close at all. One day, on one of my trips to São Paulo, I asked her if she would drive with me to the ocean. When we arrived, it was pouring down rain. We talked for a while in the car and suddenly I did something I had never done before, I turned to her and kissed her! It shocked both of us, but it was the beginning of this wonderful relationship that has only gotten better with time. I thank God for her each day and what she's done in my life. She is my inspiration.

Dave and Adriana

It turns out that we have similar goals (God does know what He's doing), one being to help the homeless of the world. Another is to help the elderly. We also want to help feed the hungry, clothe the needy. On our many travels of the world, one place we both fell in love with is Aruba. Our many businesses have helped us with a little of the financing, yet there is so much we want and need to do.

Did you get tired of frogs? Here's some of my work back in the 80's in RealAudio.

Dave visits Aruba!
Dave visits Italy!
Dave visits Santiago, Chile!
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